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Kaal Bhairav Temple

Location of Kaal Bhairav:

Kaal Bhairav is located in Bhaironath near the Head Post Office at Visheshar Ganj.

How to Reach:

You can reach Kaal Bhairav by rickshaw either through Visheshar Ganj or through Golghar, Maidagin. Since this is a very famous temple, you can also take the guidance from local residents.

Pooja Timing:

There is heavy rush of devotees on Sundays and Tuesdays. The temple remains open for devotees at following timings:

  • From 05.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., and

  • From 04.30 p.m. to 09.30 p.m.


Kaal Bhairav Temple is an ancient Temple dedicated to Lord Kaal Bhairav, the guardian (Kotwal) of Varanasi and supposed to be dreadful form of Lord Shiva symbolizing death. A well near the Temple has religious significance as its water source is believed to be fed several underground streams, and having curative powers. It is a tradition to buy black threads here, keep it in the shrine and then wear it on the arm, wrist or around the neck as a protection against evil forces. Those living in or visiting Varanasi, must worship Kaal Bhairav and he grants protection to all his devotees. Eight days after Poornima in the month of Margashirsha is an important day for worshipping Kaal Bhairav. Besides, Sundays, Tuesdays, Ashtami and Chaturdasi days are very important for worshipping Kaal Bhairav. A person who circumambulates Lord Kaal Bhairav eight times will be absolved of all the sins committed by him. A devotee who worships Kaal Bhairav for six months will attain all types of Siddhi. Old timers in Varanasi believe whenever residents of Kashi leave the city for short journeys, they worship Kaal Bhairav (taking his permission) and on return back to Kashi, they again worship Kaal Bhairav.


Long time back several great Gurus sitting on top of Sumeru Mountain desired to know from Lord Brahma as to who was indestructible and supreme. Lord Brahma proclaimed himself to be that superior person. On hearing this, Yagyeshwar (symbolic of Narayan) reprimanded Lord Brahma for his hasty and audacious utterances. Both of them asked the same question to Vedas. Rig Veda replied that the almighty deity who controls all living beings, named Rudra is supreme. Yajur Veda replied that He, whom we worship through various Yagnas (Yagam) and other such rigorous rituals, is none other than Shiva, who is supreme. Sam Veda replied that the respected figure who is worshipped by various Yogis and that Person who controls the entire world is none other than Triambakam. Finally, Atharva Veda said, all human beings can see the Lord through Bhakti Marg and such a deity who can remove all the worries of human beings is indeed Lord Shiva. The outcome of all Vedas pronounced that Lord Shiva is the ultimate being.

Both Lord Brahma and Yagya Narayan started laughing in disbelief. Shortly Lord Shiva appeared as a powerful divine light in their midst. Lord Brahma stared at that ‘Being’ furiously with his fifth head. Lord Shiva immediately created one living being and stated that He (the new being) will be King of Kaal and will be known as Kaal Bhairav. (Kaal is used to mean the final time i.e. death). Lord Shiva further stated that Kaal Bhairav will always be in Kashi, removing all sins of the devotees and therefore, he will be known as Paap Bhakshak. Meanwhile, Lord Brahma’s fifth head was still burning with fury and Kaal Bhairav plucked that head. Immediately all the people present there started singing praises of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva directed Bhairav to go around various places but Brahma Hatya Dosh (suffering on account of hurting a Brahmin) will always follow him. Lord Shiva created a dangerous and fierce looking female figure, named Brahma Hatya and asked her to follow Kaal Bhairav wherever he went.

Kaal Bhairav, with Brahma’s head in his hand, started going around various places in the world, took bath in various sacred places, worshipped various Lords, however saw that Brahma Hatya was following him all along. He could not get rid of that suffering. Finally, Kaal Bhairav reached the Moksha Puri, Varanasi. The moment Kaal Bhairav entered Kashi, Brahma Hatya started shouting, screaming and finally disappeared. Head of Brahma fell at a place which was called Kapal Mochan and this place was later called Kapal Mochan Teerth. Then onwards Kaal Bhairav located himself permanently in Varanasi, giving shelter to all his devotees.